Yamping Essentials

Yamping Essentials

The time has rolled around for us to do some adventuring, so we’re heading out on the open road and driving cross country around America the Beautiful. The main destinations are out west and include Washington, Montana, Colorado & Wyoming. The majority of the trip we’ll be tent camping, with only a couple of nights planned for some facier lodgings with a few more creature comforts. (What can I say, I don’t mind roughing it but I do like to take a shower once in a while 🙂 ). The rest of the time we’ll be doing what I’ve nicknamed ‘Yamping’ – which is car camping in a Yaris hatchback. We’re doing this partly because I’m challenging myself to see how much fun we can have with a small budget and would much rather spend my dough on adventurous stuff then lodging, and also because it’s totally hilarious. Well I think it’s hilarious – my Dutch posslq not quite so much, but he’s about a foot taller than me so cramming him into small spaces is considerably harder.

The Yamping Challenge

As you probably know, Yarises (sp?) are stupidly small, so I’ve found it an interesting challenge to get all the stuff we’ll need for our 3 weeks on the road in the car and also leave room for sleeping. This is another fun aspect of Yamping. I’ve posted a picture of what we’re packing here. The only thing left out is a bedroll that I’ve fashioned out of moving blankets and egg crate foam with a pillow top mattress cover.

As you can see we have the essentials for yamping – toiletries, clothes (layers for summer to winter temps), hiking boots, cooking supplies, foods including ramen, venison jerkey I just finished drying, and a bunch of canned soups & stews that I canned the week before (those are also off-cam).

Finally there’s some survival stuff (knives, duct tape, fire, etc), my camera & laptop, and most importantly, my Satin Ice fondant. While not a common yamping necessity, I find it great in case I need to impress some locals with a few figurines or flowers. After all, cake is the universal language. Also, in a pinch it makes a great survival food. Stuck in a ravine with a broken leg? No problem – just munch on the new foil wrapped travel-size 4oz packet and that will keep you going until a helicopter comes to evac you.

So that’s about it. I am pretty proud of the way I’ve packed up the car, too. Everything has it’s own spot, it’s still relatively lightweight so we’ll get good mileage, and come nighttime with a little bit of wizardry it transforms into a bed. Ready for yamping!!!!

Oh, P.S. – a lot of my time will be spent with little to no cell connectivity, so while I will be taking pics and writing posts from the road, there will probably be a delay on when they get posted online. I’ll probably post short blurps from the road with some nicer recaps and photography when I get back. Stay tuned for more yamping fun! 🙂


Yamping Driving Configuration

Yamping Driving Configuration

This is the car packed with all the stuff tucked away in the ‘driving’ config. The bedroll is under the moving blankets. Moving blankets are extremely versatile much like duct tape.


Yaris Yamping Conversion

Yamping Conversion Strategy

To change to sleeping config, the seats move forward, the plywood slides out (using the buckets underneath as supports) to make a flat surface, and the moving blankets fill up the space. Then the bedroll and pillows go on top.

Yamping Configuration Side View

Yamping Side View

Lots of space up front to stick the luggage and other items for anything that doesn’t go under the bed ‘shelf’.